Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama has advised compatriot James Rodriguez to leave Real Madrid this summer because coach Zinedine Zidane "does not want him."
Rodriguez, who turned 28 in July, recently returned to Real following a two-season loan at Bayern Munich, but Valderrama told Marca (h/t Football Espana) the star should head for the exit again:
"James? Let him go to another team because the coach does not want him.
"If he stays at Real Madrid he won't play; he starts from there. That's how things are...when James arrived, the fans had a party, the president made a party, but the coach does not want him now.
"The concern is that he will not play. If he stays at Real Madrid he will not play. Let him go on to better things, the one who decides on the lineup is the coach.
"With the quality he has he can play anywhere in the world."
Rodriguez is yet to make a pre-season appearance this summer and has been omitted from Real's matchday squad in each of their five friendlies thus far.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol ridiculed Real's recent attempt to include Rodriguez in a deal for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba:
Valderrama holds Colombia's appearance record after earning 111 caps for his country over the course of a 13-year international career. He played a single season in Spain for Real Valladolid (1991-92).
Rodriguez's last appearance for Los Blancos came during a 2-0 league win over Malaga in May 2017. He made only 20 starts for Real during the 2016-17 campaign but scored 11 goals and recorded 12 assists.
Those statistics highlight his productivity at the Santiago Bernabeu despite speculation he's no longer wanted by Real. Goal posted his impressive numbers for the club in greater detail:
Corriere dello Sport (h/t Marca) recently reported Marseille have joined Atletico Madrid and Napoli as suitors for Rodriguez, though the French club can't offer UEFA Champions League football this season.
Valderrama's comments suggest anywhere would be better than staying at Real if he's not wanted, with Zidane yet to show his playmaker much favour since he returned to Madrid.